Efficient Fireplaces

Written by Robert Mac
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Efficient fireplaces are the dream of every homeowner, but most claims of efficiency are hot air--literally. A lot of the heat created in a wood-burning fireplace goes out through the chimney, while many gas fireplaces lose 40 to 50 percent of their energy. Heating costs are going through the roof because that's where most of the heat goes.

Truly efficient fireplaces won't vent any heat outside. Rather, they will radiate it inside the room where they are located. Unfortunately, wood-burning stoves have to vent smoke, and much of the heat created by burning wood is lost in this process. The most efficient fireplaces are electric ones: all the energy supplied to them is turned into heat, which stays in the room.

Efficient Fireplaces Are Technologically Advanced

One of humanity's first inventions was the fireplace. Early cave dwellers wanted to stay warm and managed to discover fire, but beyond that they had little mastery of the flames or how to control them. Too bad they couldn't turn the heat up or down, or figure out how to keep a flame on for a long time, so they could sleep in some warmth. Fast forward to the present.

Today's electric fireplaces not only have a patented flame that looks like the real thing, but they give off heat like a bonfire, too. And since it plugs into the wall, you won't have to worry about the drapes catching on fire or the kids scorching their fingertips. Some have remote controls, too, so even a caveman can flip them on and off--how's that for efficient?


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